Surfboards, sunscreen and pineapples, yes. But solar panels and wind farms?
Thoughts of Hawaii bring to mind vacationers, sandy beaches and big waves. Hawaii is making waves of a different sort, recently, as new legislation (HB 623) has been passed that will require the state to produce 100 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources by the year 2045.
Hawaii is the first state to take on such a bold endeavour.
Currently 80 percent of Hawaii’s electricity is supplied by fossil fuels, mainly oil. The state has one privately owned utility company, Hawaiian Electric, that is rapidly working on renewable projects, which are already cheaper than liquid oil and gas and have been credited with saving residents copious amounts of money on their electricity bills.
In the last five years, Hawaii has become a solar-energy experimentation hotspot—with one out of every nine homes sporting a rooftop PV (photovoltaic system). The Department of Energy, along with Hawaiian Electric, are working together to monitor the growth of the renewable sector and the proposed changeover from fossil fuels.
Perhaps the state will soon be as fondly known for its innovation and intrepid environmental leaps forward as it is for surf and sand.
Author: Keeley Milne
Photos: Trevor Murphy/Pixoto